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Fire door requirements in Victorian conversion

Guest GilGilmour

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Guest GilGilmour


I live in a Victorian house converted into 2 flats. We live in the first floor flat. Our freeholder (Lewisham Homes) is demanding that we replace the entrance door to our flat with a fire door. However the assessment they made to conclude that we needed a fire door consisted of of a 30 second visit into the communal hallway - a small area that the front doors to both flats open onto which is approximately 6ft x 4ft. As the cost of replacement is likely to be circa £1,500-£2,000 (it's a large door and frame!), I'd like to know for sure whether this is something we definitely require before proceeding with the work.

In terms of fire escapes, there is the front door as well as a window from the kitchen leading onto the flat roof of the downstairs flat. All rooms in the flat are located off a central hallway, with no corridor. There are smoke/heat detectors in all rooms, including the loft, as well as a single wireless heat detector in each flat that is linked to a central system.

I've got absolutely no issue with spending the money if it needs to be spent either because it's a legal requirement and will make a material difference to the safety of me and my family. However my gut feeling is that it would not make that much difference. Any advice would be greatly appreciated - thanks!


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The front door needs to be a fire door for the protection of the common space & other flats.

As a conversion the appropriate fire safety benchmark is likely to be in here:


This requires current standard FD30S doorsets.

Upgrading products for existing doors that have test accreditation do exist and are a fraction of the cost, however you would need to be sure that the freeholder would accept this.


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Guest GilGilmour

Thanks for your reply Anthony. I've read through the relevant bits of the document you provided the link for and it would seem that our set up is most like example D10 on P46. 

Since making my original post on here, I've got in touch with a couple of fire door fitters and suppliers. After explaining the set up, they BOTH advised that a fire door is probably unnecessary, and that upgrading the existing doors with some fire safety equipment would be more appropriate. Which, given they stood to make a fair bit of cash from me seemed surprising! 

Like I said, I'm happy to spend the money if it means improved safety. But given what the fire door fitters have said, and the fact that the freeholder hasn't asked the ground floor flat to install a fire door, I'm reluctant to put my limited cash resources into something that a). isn't needed and b). probably wouldn't make much difference.

So based on what you said it sounds like the freeholder is applying the requirements inconsistently. I've attached a couple of pics in case anyone wants to see the set actual set up. The first pic is taken from the front door to the building. As you can see there are two flat entrance doors - ours is the pink one. The opening immediately to the right of our door is the back door which leads to the rear gardens. 

Seems like the most sensible thing to do would be to get an independent fire risk assessment to tell us what we actual need to do!


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